cloth on a budget

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

It's day 3 of Real Diaper Week - today's focus is cloth diapering on a budget.

First let me give you a few tips for saving money when you cloth diaper...

To buy -
These are the most economical purchase options. Flats or prefolds with covers are generally much less expensive than pocket diapers, all in ones, or any other variety of modern cloth diapers.

Emergency or no-budget options -
Absorbent layer
•Receiving blankets
•Burp rags
•Old baby clothes
Wetness barrier
•Water resistant coats (like windbreakers, rain coats, and coats you can wear in the snow)
•Anything wool - a sweater, a blanket, a scarf...
•Fleece - a sweater, a blanket, a scarf...
•Shower curtain
These are 'around the house' items you can re-purpose by cutting and shaping them on to your baby, or set your baby on top of them naked. I'll admit we have a lot of naked time at our house - I generally put down a fleece blanket or shower curtain with blankets or towels on top and let him play on it, with only washable toys. If an 'accident' (can you call it that, if you know it will happen?) occurs I wash the toys by hand with dish soap, or throw them in the machine (for cloth toys) with the blankets.

Make your own -
Are you crafty or do you have a crafty friend?
•Knit or crochet covers, longies, and shorties from wool yarn
•Knit or crochet absorbent layers like a blanket, or in a traditional diaper shape, using cotton, hemp, or bamboo yarn
•Buy or re-purpose fabric and grab a free pattern online to sew your own diaper - many styles available (pocket, AIO, fitted and covers, etc)
My family is actually allergic to wool so knitting and crocheting longies and shorties or covers have previously not been an option for me. However, I've recently found polar fleece yarn that I'm attempting to crochet some shorties with... I'll keep you guys posted on that progress.

Accessories -
Many people can find things to use as a diaper in a pinch (anything absorbent really...) but it is the accessories most of us forget about
•Plastic shopping bags instead of a wet bag (I'll admit to forgetting a wet bag ALL THE TIME, but I can almost always find a plastic bag somewhere)
•Ziplock (or similar) bag instead of a wet bag, or to carry wipes in (wash it in the sink with dish soap between uses and leave it open to dry)
•Instead of snappi, boingo, or diaper pins for fastening flats and prefolds around your baby you can use a creative fold and tuck the ends in, or fold and lay the material inside your diaper cover in the 'wet zone' - no extras required
•Use small wash rags or cut up receiving blankets, burp clothes, flannel, cotton, fleece, or any other at least semi absorbent material and use it as a wipe
•Use water to wet the wipe - Carry it in a small spritz bottle, peri bottle, or just use a sink. You could also use a wipe solution (make your own to save money)

Other budget options
Maybe you are on a budget, but you feel you've got more wiggle room than re-purposing old t-shirts and sweaters, and you just can't get down with the idea of 'old school' diapers (flats and prefolds). You have other options. Pocket diapers are some of the least expensive modern cloth options. I'll shout out a few brands that I like, that I have found to be less expensive than most others. I have not been given an incentive for listing these brands - I'm just sharing information

SunBaby Diapers

Sunbabys now have a two size adjustable system, meaning Size one will last from birth to near toddler hood and Size two will pick up there and last through potty training. You can get 12 diapers with microfiber inserts (other insert options available) for $60.00 - coming to $5.00 per diaper. Shipping appears to be free.

Alva Baby Diapers

*Alva Baby appears to have several dozens of fabric options, as well as many style options for their diapers*
All of their print and minky diapers are 5.59 each, solids are 4.79 each. Diapers with color snap system and double leg gussets are 6.99 each, and bamboo diapers 9.99 each. Bamboo diapers come with 2 inserts, the rest come with one made of microfiber. Shipping is free worldwide.
Baby Steals is a deal of the day site that actually offers two 'steals' per day. The 'steals' are quality baby and maternity products and can be up to 80% off! Most of the 'steals' I've gotten were between 48% and 60% off - including several itti bitti tuttos (super awesome cloth diapers made in Australia - check them out!)! Of course, Baby Steals doesn't do cloth diapers every day - but they are a great place to keep an eye on to save you money on the products you really want - including cloth diapers.

Eco Baby Buys and Zulily function similarly and also often feature cloth diapers. (Note: The Zulily link is a referral link, meaning if you chose to sign up through that link I could potentially receive a bonus. The bonus is if you sign up you can earn bonuses for having your friends sign up too). I've gotten FuzziBunz and AppleCheeks diapers through Zulily at great prices!

You can also follow blogs and enter giveaways and contest, join Twitter Parties and more - the cloth diapering community always has something fun and entertaining going on, many with ways to save. In fact, this week in particular many cloth diaper retailers are offering special discounts! Most of them have incentive programs that allow you to earn free diapers as well.

Saving in other areas
You can also save money while using cloth diapers even more by...
•Using cloth diapers - while the initial cost of getting a cloth diaper stash going can seem overwhelming you can save sooo much money. Check out some of these calculators to see how much you can save Padded Tush Stat's Calculator Cloth Diaper Geek's Calculator
•Dry your diapers (and your clothes) on a line or rack outside (sun gets out stains!) or inside, instead of in the drier. If you suffer from stiff items, you can pop them in the drier on a fluff setting for a couple minutes, or rough them up by hand
•Make your own detergent, or buy in bulk - you are going to use it anyways and it is good for clothes not just diapers
Get creative!

Cloth Diapers: How I can help right now

Monday, April 16, 2012

If you have been reading my blog for any length of time, you most likely know that we cloth diaper our son. I made the decision I wanted to cloth diaper our baby while I was pregnant. My husband came on board after our son was born, and our cloth journey began. Once we made the decision to switch to cloth I attended a Cloth Diapering class at a local consignment shop. That shop is no longer open, but the connections I made through that class have proven to be long lasting. The other mom's and babies I've met through that connection all stay in touch. A handful of us still try to meet up every weekend, we are all friends on Facebook, and it is through my interactions with these wonderful women that I have learned so much, and have become so passionate about cloth diapering.

I have dreams of starting a non profit organization that teaches our local families about cloth diapering. Right now that cannot become a reality. Life at this moment is already so full and busy, I don't know where to begin with my dream project. So for now, I do what I can.

This year I am helping one of these lovely women to organize the Great Cloth Diaper Change event here locally. Last week we even strutted around a high traffic area in town asking local businesses to help support our event - with my son as our walking and talking advertisement. Well, I actually carried him most of the time and the most he said was "Hi" "Bye" and "Bites!". He was very excited to see fruit among the food options at a local coffee house. I had him appropriately decked out wearing his "Cloth is Cool" diaper from the FuzziBunz Elite Diaper Talk series, with baby legs and a shirt, which definitely caught the attention of many people we passed by.

Today begins Real Diaper Week, and as a cloth diaper enthusiast and host-assistant for our local event, it's my job to get the word out! I'll be sending the following message to all of our local news stations today...

Did you know there will be an attempt to break a Guinness Book World Record, right here in _____ on Saturday the 21st at noon? We are going to attempt to break the record for most number of cloth diapers changed simultaneously, AROUND THE WORLD. Last year over 127 locations around the globe participated, including us! We set the record then and we want to shatter it this year! So far there are 305 locations registered to host an event in 16 countries! Please contact me or ________ for more information. We would love to hear from you!

I'll also link them to this great video created by Kim over at Dirty Diaper Laundry

I will also be bringing two babies (and their mommas) who are normally in disposables to the Great Cloth Diaper Change, and letting them borrow a diaper for the event. It makes a great addition to your baby books and scrap books! How many kids do you know can say the helped break a world record before they were even out of diapers? Your kid could be able to say that you know.... feel free to contact me if you have any questions, either here in the comments or on my Facebook Page Facebook: Little Tiny Love!


Friday, April 13, 2012
In my personal world, a lot of words are flying around from many people - myself included - about feeling judged.

I'm not perfect. I mess up ALL the time. I pretty much do nothing the way I should, and even though *I* feel my choices are right for us, other people think I'm doing things all wrong and judged me.

Now I'd like to point out the difference between having an opinion, and judging. If you have an opinion generally you choose to share it or not, and generally you have a logical discussion and express your reason for having your opinion. Sometimes this also expresses emotions. If you are judging someone you are taking your own opinion, holding it above others' opinions, and declaring it better than theirs while in your mind deciding this person is not your equal.

Judge me if you are the type of person who does such a thing. Share your opinion, same or different, if you care to. Most of these are related to parenting.

• I chose to supplement with formula when our son was younger because trying to up my supply via pumping was too exhausting. Or I was lazy, you can see that which ever way you like.
• I still nurse our 16 month old son and will continue to nurse him until he stops asking to nurse and self weans. That's right, I might end up nursing a 4 year old.
• I nurse in public, uncovered. I will continue to nurse, in public, uncovered, until our son self weans. No, I don't want to show off my breasts - but if my kid is hungry he will be fed and if he wants milk he will receive it, regardless of where we are.
• Our son sleeps in the bed with us. Our future babies will sleep in the bed with us. They will each transition into their own sleeping space, in our room, when they are ready and will transition to their own room when they are ready for that - even if that is many many years from now.
• We are choosing to delay some, if not most, of our son's vaccines. Some vaccines he will not receive.
• We use cloth diapers. Apparently this is a topic to be judged on, that I wasn't aware of.
• I use cloth menstrual products. Yep. I put that on my blog, and I'm slapping it on Facebook. If I can talk about what my kid poops in, I can talk about how I care for myself too. Oh wait... someone just judged me on that.
• We go out to eat A LOT because I still haven't mastered being a mother and a wife and how to keep house all at the same time.
• We have a lot of stuff in our house, and even after living here for a little more than a month it still isn't put away. It's a lot of clutter.
• I wont give our son sauces and I monitor his salt and refined sugar intake.
• Our son only drinks juice that has no extra sugar and is severely diluted, and only once or twice a week.
• I don't medicate fevers unless our son is obviously uncomfortable, has a very high temperature, or there are other complications. I believe fevers have a purpose for the body and they need to do their job.
• If our son is sick we look for natural alternatives to medications that haven't had long term studies done, or have side effects we are uncomfortable with.
• I research nearly everything. Yes, usually on the internet. I take the information I can find from *credible* sources, as well as the opinions and experiences of other people in to consideration before making many decisions. I like to stay informed and educated.
• I allow my self to be influenced by society. Now, I don't go around all sheep like and following (thanks for that reference, friend!) but there is something to be said for the reason many things come to light and become 'popular'. Please, do not confuse this with me wanting to be 'cool'.
• I don't use harsh cleaners. If it has a fume, or I can smell it and it smells 'chemy' to me, I'm not using it. (I've been this way since WAY before pregnancy, just to clear up THAT judgment)
• I don't think I'm better than anyone as a person, but I do recognize that my situation is more favorable than many others. I try to use my situation, and sometimes take advantage of it I'm sure, to help other people when I can.

I'm certain I have many other 'faults' and decisions and opinions you can use to judge me. Place me in that category of people who obviously don't get it, or whatever. Or maybe you think that I'm judging you. I'm not, but I can't make someone see that. I'm hoping, though, that instead of judging we can discuss. Tell me how your opinions and practices differ. Tell me why. I'd love to know! Have questions about why I do something? Ask! I'm happy to share. Feel that I've judged you? Please point it out - I strive daily to be a better person and if I'm lacking somewhere, I'd like attention to be brought to it so that I can evaluate and better myself if need be.